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Busting loose – Yamaha’s 2019 Dakar Rally bikes break cover 

Taking a closer look at the technical details behind Yamaha’s 2019 WR450F Rally bikes ahead of the Dakar in Peru this January.


Following the official presentation for the 2019 Dakar Rally this week in Paris, where routes and stage details were revealed, Yamaha has released the first images of the WR450F Rally machines which will compete the epic event in Peru from January 7. 

Receiving key updates for 2019, the latest gen WR450F Rally will power Yamalube Yamaha Rally riders Adrien Van Beveren, Xavier de Soultrait, Franco Caimi and Rodney Faggotter at Dakar.


Van Beveren Yamaha WR450F Dakar 2019 static Enduro21 560


Production bike in rally clothing

Rally bikes always make fascinating viewing but the Yamaha always catches the imagination a little more because, of the factory machines, it is the only one derived from a production enduro bike. 

Littered with parts developed by GYTR, the necessary 33 litre fuel tanks, enormous radiators and the navigation tower, the Yamaha is no less highly developed.

Yamaha claim internal engine modifications focus on combining outstanding performance with controllability with “a series of specially developed EFI fuel maps to meet riding conditions and match the tailor-made Akrapovic titanium exhaust system – just as you’d expect in this sport which is increasingly fast but also demands a rideable machine. 


Van Beveren Yamaha WR450F Dakar 2019 Akrapovic Enduro21 560


Based on Yamaha’s aluminium frame from the WR450F, the Rally bike’s chassis package features a 2cm longer swingarm (WR450F enduro wheelbase is 1465mm, rally bike is 1485mm) for improved high-speed stability. 

Topping the team’s priorities also was the goal to provide a neutral riding position, which is as close as possible to the stock WR450F enduro bike. Engineers positioned the fuel tanks to still allow free and easy rider movement. The caster angle and trail figures remain at claimed standard WR figures (26º 20, 114mm respectively) while offset is modified to 25mm. 


Van Beveren Yamaha WR450F Dakar 2019 braking Enduro21 560


To make sure the long Dakar stages are possible and to reduce weight, new 33 litre plastic fuel tanks slink from under the seat and down besides the engine. Acerbis have clearly been working hard on the bodywork too.  

Weight distribution is obviously a priority on every part of the WR450F Rally bike, but the position of fuel tanks takes a lot of R&D from rally teams to get the best compromise. Yamaha’s up top air box design allows among the lowest fuel tanks from any of the dedicated rally bikes. 

The total dry weight of 142kg (162kg with oil and fuel) seem almost unbelievable for a bike designed for Dakar with all the additional components bolted on. 

The 2019 WR450F Rally features 52mm KYB front forks and factory developed rear shock. An oversize 300mm front disk handles the added loads of braking from higher speeds with a Brembo four-piston brake caliper doing the rotor biting.


Van Beveren Yamaha WR450F Dakar 2019 beach Enduro21 560


Yamaha WR450F Rally 2019 Specifications:

Engine: Single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valves

Displacement: 449 cc

Bore x stroke: 97.0 mm x 60.8 mm

Compression ratio: 12,5 : 1

Lubrication system: Wet sump

Fuel system: Fuel injection + GET system

Clutch type: Wet Multiple Disc

Starter system: Kick + Electric

Transmission system: Constant Mesh, 5-speed


Frame: Semi double cradle

Front suspension system: Telescopic forks 52 mm diameter

Front travel: 310 mm

Caster angle: 26º 20

Trail: 114 mm

Rear suspension system: Swingarm, KYB Factory rear shock

Rear travel: 318 mm

Front brake: Brembo, Hydraulic single disc, Ø 300 mm

Rear brake: Hydraulic single disc, Ø 245 mm

Front tyre: 90/90-21

Rear tyre: 140/98-18


Overall length: 2,185 mm

Overall width: 845 mm

Overall height: 1,290 mm

Seat height: 975 mm

Wheel base: 1,485 mm

Minimum ground clearance: 325 mm

Complete weight (including fuel and oil): 162 kg

Fuel tank capacity: 33 litres

Oil tank capacity: 1,2 litres


Van Beveren Yamaha WR450F Dakar 2019 wheelie Enduro21 560



Photo Credit: Yamaha Racing



Byline jp ISDE 2018 Enduro21

Jon Pearson
Enduro21 Editor and Bike Tester